A DUI is a priorable offense which means that if you build a history of DUI’s, after your fourth penalty, you will be charged with a DUI felony. In most cases, a simple DUI is treated as a misdemeanor meaning that the charges are lesser than those in felonies. However, there are times when even a first offense DUI can result in a DUI felony. The cases are common and they often result in a variety of driving restrictions and/or jail time. When a DUI causes bodily injury or damage to property, you can expect to be charged with heavier punishments.
If you are in the state of California, a DUI causing injury is a violation of California Vehicle Code 23153 which can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. There are a number of factors that contribute to a DUI causing injury which is why if you are charged with a DUI for violation of VC 23153 you should contact an attorney who is capable of assessing your situation. Upon assessment, your attorney will be capable of providing a number of procedures that aim to challenge the evidence used against you in a court of law. An experienced attorney will be capable of challenging the breath, blood, and urine sample that was retrieved for testing. In addition, the attorney may be capable of proving that other factors in the car accident were the reasons for a car accident that resulted in a bodily injury. Speaking with an attorney about your specific case is advised to ensure that you are not wrongly convicted.
A DUI that results in bodily injury may be charged with greater punishments if the bodily injury resulted in the loss of happiness for the injured person or if the injured person later dies as a consequence of the DUI incident. There are a number of reasons to contact an experienced attorney when you are charged with a DUI. If you are located in the state of California, you are welcomed to contact the offices of the Long Beach DUI Attorney at 562-206-2012. We are experienced in fighting DUI cases and have a record of helping our clients receive lesser punishments and in some cases a dismissal of DUI charges. Don’t let a DUI appear on your rap without putting up a good fight. A DUI can prevent you from enjoying travel freedoms and other civil rights which is why you should always contest a DUI charge.
There are times when a driver may feel guilty about an accident that is a result of their DUI. The driver may feel guilty enough to not challenge the court and accept the punishments of the court. It is okay to feel guilty of your actions, however, in a DUI traffic incident there a number of factors that could have caused the car-related accident. A thorough independent investigation can help you prove that you were not the only person liable for the car accident that resulted in a bodily injury and/or death. Speak with an attorney today to learn if there is any way to battle the charges being placed on you. Remember that you have rights to a fair trial which means you are capable of presenting your side of the story before a conviction. Our attorneys are capable of presenting the findings of a separate investigation so that your case is dismissed or so that your penalties are reduced. A car accident contains a variety of variables which makes it difficult to blame a single person or factor.
California Vehicle Code 23153 - DUI Causing Injury
A violation of California Vehicle Code 23153 can result in a misdemeanor or felony that may ultimately impact your criminal record and highway privileges. The vehicle code explains that it is a crime to inflict bodily harm on another person while operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. When accidents that result in bodily injury or death occur on a highway, there are a number of factors that are assessed during an investigation. Often times, the police may find multiple factors that caused the accident making it difficult to point out a single incident that may have caused the accident. Since it takes two to tango, a car accident is usually the fault of two separate entities or other external factors. However, if you are driving drunk or under the influence of a drug, you will find charges placed against you based on the presumption that your impaired conditions were at fault for the accident. A police officer at the scene of the car accident will notice an impaired driver and quickly assume that the driver was completely at fault for the accident. Since the police investigation focuses on the driver who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, it is important to conduct a separate investigation so that an attorney may present other findings and factors that may have contributed to the vehicle accident.
VC 23153 describes the following:
- Section (a): explains that it is a crime for a driver who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to violate a traffic or commit a negligent act that causes bodily harm to another person. This section explains that in order to be charged under VC 23153, the prosecutor must provide that in addition to a DUI, the driver has committed a traffic violation (such as speeding or making a wrong turn) that has caused a bodily injury.
- Section (b): explains that it is illegal to drive while having a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. Under this section, it is specified that individuals that are operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol can be charged with violation of VC 23153 if they commit a traffic violation that causes a bodily injury.
- Section (c): explains that in proving that a driver has ignored or neglected a traffic law which has led to a bodily injury, it is not required to prove that a unique section of VC 23153 was violated. In other words, if you violated any traffic code while operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs and/alcohol, it is enough to be charged under VC 23153.
- Section (d): explains that it is illegal for a commercial motor vehicle operator to drive a vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent or more. The section specifies that a commercial motor vehicle operator may be charged for violation of VC 23153 if they are driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04% or higher and commit a traffic violation that causes an accident. Because a commercial driver is operating bigger vehicles, a vehicle-related accident can cause greater damage to property and/or more severe bodily damages.
- Section (e): it is illegal for a commercial vehicle operator to operate a vehicle with a (BAC) of 0.04 or higher and in the presence of a passenger for hire.
- Section (f): this section specifies that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of any drug. In addition, it is a violation of section (f) if the driver is under the influence of any drug and commits a traffic violation that has caused bodily injuries to another person.
- Section (g): explains that it is illegal under section (g) to be both under the influence of alcohol and under the influence of any drug while operating a motor vehicle and committing a traffic violation that results in bodily injury.
If you are a driver in the state of California, it is crucial to understand the specific language that guides each vehicle code. The California Vehicle Code 23153 provides specific elements that must be present in order to be successfully convicted of a DUI causing injury. If you wish to learn the specific language under VC 23153, you are encouraged to visit the following government page: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=23153.&lawCode=VEH
When is a violation of Vehicle Code 23153 treated as a felony?
As mentioned earlier a violation of VC 23153 is a crime that can be treated as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. In most cases, an accident that results from the violation of VC 23153 is a crime that is treated with a misdemeanor. However, there are specific factors that can alter a judge’s verdict. The following examples are circumstances that may produce a felony conviction.
- Fourth DUI: In California, if you are convicted of a fourth DUI it will be treated as a felony. As mentioned earlier, a DUI is a priorable offense meaning that the punishments for a DUI increase whenever there is an existing DUI in your criminal record. It is important to keep in mind that a “wet-reckless” also counts as a DUI violation.
- For example, John was charged with wet-reckless in 2011. By 2017, John accumulated two other charges for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In 2018, John was arrested for driving under the influence for the fourth time. John will be charged with a felony. Even though a wet-reckless holds lesser punishments than a first DUI offense conviction, in the long run, it still counts as a DUI offense. If you have a wet-reckless on your criminal record it means that any future offense will build off of the existing offense. To learn more about a "wet-reckless" you are encouraged to visit our page at https://www.duilawyerlongbeach.com/dui-steps/wet-reckless
- Third DUI offense causing injury: In California, it is a felony to be convicted for a third time under VC 23153 “DUI causing injury”.
- The accident was severe enough to warrant a felony. If your accident resulted in the death of a bystander or passenger, you may be automatically charged with a felony. This means that even if it is your first DUI offense if you wreaked havoc while driving on an American highway, you may be charged with a felony.
Being charged with a DUI felony is never a good thing. You will experience a loss of freedoms and you will live with the burden of knowing that your actions have permanently impacted the life of an innocent bystander. If you are charged with a DUI felony, it is crucial to speak with an attorney to learn the best possible way to go about your case. Unfortunately, a fourth time DUI offense will usually warrant hard prison time and fines. However, having an attorney by your side may mean the difference in spending a lifetime in prison to spending a couple of years behind bars. To learn the specifics of your case, you should speak with a law professional today.
Penalties for a violation of VC 23153
The penalties for violation VC 23153 will vary by state, the severity of the incident, the number of traffic violations, the age of the injured individuals, and the overall intent of the driver. With this in mind, every DUI causing injury is a case that requires careful consideration of a variety of factors that affect the outcome of a court decision. In any case, if you face a DUI misdemeanor or felony charge, you may encounter the following penalties.
VC 23153 misdemeanor:
- As much as a year in county jail
- Restitution fines
- Up to three years of license suspension
- Mandatory DUI counseling
- Up to two-thousand dollars in fines
On the other hand, if your DUI incident results in a felony the following may apply:
- A five-year license suspension
- Registered Habitual traffic offender
- Up to thirty months of DUI school
- Up to three years in prison
- Injuries involving multiple individuals will result in more prison time
- Incidents that result in severe bodily injury may also result in additional prison time
- Up to five thousand dollars in fees
- Must pay restitution fines
Restitution is paid to the victims who suffered an injury as a result of a car accident. These charges can have no limit and can range up to $200,000.
If you are being charged for a DUI causing bodily injury and you wish to consult your case with a local attorney, you may contact the Long Beach DUI Attorney at 562-206-2012. We are ready to hear your case and provide ways in which we can contest the claims of a police investigation.